City chiefs under attack over road repair nightmare

Roads chiefs have been criticised for creating an “absolute nightmare” for drivers and residents by carrying out repairs on a busy road that was already part of a tram work diversion.

By Michael Blackley City Council Reporter
Wednesday, 12th October 2011, 1:12 pm

Council staff began work this week on £340,000 of emergency resurfacing works on Haymarket Terrace, one of the busiest routes into the city centre from the west.

The work, which will take three weeks to complete, is taking place at the same time as tram work in the area.

During the tram work, general traffic into the city was to be diverted down Magdala Crescent, Eglinton Crescent and Palmerston Place, while buses were to continue down Haymarket Terrace before taking a different route along Rosebery Crescent, Lansdowne Crescent and Grosvenor Street.

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But the closure has meant that buses now follow the same diversion as general traffic, which has led to lengthy tailbacks on Palmerston Place.

Council chiefs have insisted that the resurfacing work had to be done as the road would not survive another winter.

But they have been criticised for not carrying the work out earlier in the year, when there was no tram work happening.

City centre councillor Joanna Mowat said: “It seems very badly planned. I can’t understand how we can attempt to do everything at the same time.

“For the residents on Eglinton Crescent it has been an absolute nightmare.”

Michael Blow, who lives on Eglinton Crecent, said there was a long line of Lothian Buses at times yesterday on the diverted route. He said: “It is something that nobody had been expecting. We got a letter from TIE showing how traffic would be rerouted but, since then, the council has decided to re-Tarmac part of the diversion route.

“It does seem like a chronic b***s-up. It is the left hand not knowing what the right hand does.”

A city council spokeswoman said: “Urgent resurfacing works are being carried out at Haymarket Terrace to repair damage to the road surface.

“Scheduling works in the city centre is always problematic. This was the only time available to carry out these works, in between the festival and pre-Christmas periods.

“Although every effort is made to contact local businesses and residents prior to works commencing, it is clear that this was not as effective as we would have hoped.”

Lothian Buses confirmed that some services in the Haymarket area had been affected by slight delays.

George McKendrick, operations manager at Lothian Buses, said: “Due to road works there can be sporadic delays across our network. We would ask our customers to be understanding.”